Ubiñas: United States of Enablers responsible for the sexist state of our nation

Anyone shocked over Donald Trump's treatment of women is at best, disingenuous, at worst, as delusional as the carrot-colored charlatan trying to con his way into the White House.

Seriously, let's stop clutching our pearls and squirming in our khakis as we shake our heads at the cartoonish presidential candidate's latest comments on women. Which, in case you missed P-gate, reduces women to their genitalia, which apparently rich and famous men like Trump can just grab at will.

You got that, ladies? So now, in addition to taking self-defense classes, walking in pairs, carrying mace and reciting silent prayers in any number of uncomfortable situations, we should also invest in Hoo-ha Armor. (Patent pending.)

Good to know.

We should not be surprised. Trump is a thin-skinned man who absurdly defended his own anatomy when Marco Rubio suggested tiny hands previewed another tiny body part.

We haven't talked nearly enough about racism or gun violence or poverty in this presidential election, but oh-the-hours we have wasted on debating the size of Trump's hands. There were think pieces and petitions and journalistic gems that invited you to compare your hand size with Trump's. (Mine are bigger.)

"I guarantee you there's no problem," Trump said at the time. "I guarantee you."

Oh, there's a problem, America, but the presidential candidate's tiny hands isn't it.

Neither Trump, the presidential candidate, nor Trump, the man, was created in a vacuum.

When Trump dismissed his disgusting comments about women caught on a hot mic in 2005 as "locker room banter" and said they were "just words," he inadvertently made a bigger point about the state of women in the United States of Enablers.

Whether it's judges giving campus rapists lenient sentences or the Philly Parking Authority board coddling a serial sexual harasser or the media - because we don't get a pass - hypocritically reporting on sexism while female journalists remain underrepresented in newsrooms, we've all enabled this kind of behavior.

Here's the deal: If this country valued women, we wouldn't just TALK about a gender pay gap that's even worse for women of color.

If this country valued women, we wouldn't just TALK about a woman's right to her own body.

If this country valued women, we wouldn't just TALK about ending rape culture.

If this country valued women, there would not be a narcissistic Neanderthal like Trump standing on a national stage making a mockery of this country while reinforcing damaging messages for women.

Smile more.

Eat less.

Don't be too aggressive or ambitious.

And for the love of Baby Jesus, don't get old.

This isn't man bashing, because, sadly, enablers aren't just men. A short, personal story: When I was dealing with sexual harassment years ago, it was the women around me who repeatedly excused the man's behavior. . .because he was "a nice guy". . .because he was "just awkward". . .because "he didn't mean any harm."

Except all of this enabling isn't just harmful, it guarantees that this kind of behavior will continue.

This is where you scream that Bill Clinton had his own sordid sexual history, and I hear you. But this is where I remind everyone for the zillionth time that Bill Clinton is not running for President of the United States. Trump is.

We should be disgusted at Trump's proven mistreatment of women, and we should show it when we go to the polls in November.

We should also be equally disgusted at the long-standing boorish and misogynistic behavior that doesn't always make it to our national consciousness. Speaking of boors, let's not forget those Porn-gate emails sent and received by Pennsylvania judges and lawyers that so many were willing to dismiss as sophomoric – another word for "locker room banter" I'm guessing.

Trump didn't get here on his own: that knuckle-dragging presidential candidate is a reflection of us and of what we value and what we don't.

And right now, this much is clear: We value entertainment over facts. We value selective outrage over self-reflection. We value self-interests over collective empowerment and equality.

And these debates, as painful as they are to watch, are the embodiment of all that we have created.


ubinas@phillynews.com

215-854-5943 @NotesFromHel

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